Italy Just Passed Major Legislation to Stop Food Waste. Meanwhile the U.S. Tosses $161 Billion-Worth of Food a Year

By Elena Sheppard

Earlier this year, Italy passed new and much-needed legislation to help reduce the huge amount of food wasted by the country each year. According to the Italian government, the amount of food Italy wastes in a given years costs the nation approximately 12 billion euros annually. Looking more widely at Europe, the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation says that, “the food currently wasted in Europe could feed 200 million people.” Turning toward the United States, the amount of food wasted yearly is just as staggering.  

According to information provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), it’s estimated that 30-40% of the American food supply is wasted in a given year. Economically, that settles in at around $165 billion in waste, and 133 billion pounds of food. With this amount of unconsumed food, we could be dramatically assisting the 48.1 million Americans who live in what are called “food insecure households.” This amount of food also does damage to our environment due to the large amount of methane that is emitted from food disposed of in landfills, rather than consumed or composted.  

It’s not just uneaten food in restaurants and households that lead to these high percentages of unconsumed food. Food waste also comes from unharvested crops, high aesthetic standards for food (i.e. people not wanting to buy a perfectly good but weirdly shaped peach), food wasted in grocery stores, distribution centers, and improperly disposed of.

We can do better, and America knows it. In 2013, the USDA along with the Environmental Protection Agency began the U.S. Food Waste Challenge to help grow  food waste reduction efforts. The country’s goal is to reduce food waste by 50% by the year 2030. The Challenge is approaching these efforts in three ways. 1. Reducing food waste — by promoting better storage developments, marketing initiatives, and shopping, ordering and cooking methods. 2. Recovering food — and distributing unconsumed food to hunger relief organizations. 3. Recycling food — by using it to feed animals, make fertilizer, and create compost and bioenergy. So far, initiatives have exceeded expectation.

On a global scale, roughly one third of the food produced annually goes to waste. To put that in other numerical context, that amounts to roughly $680 billion of waste in industrialized countries and $310 billion of waste in developing countries. Luckily, through legislation like that in Italy (and similar measures passed in France) as well as the U.S. Food Waste Challenge, there’s hope that those numbers will soon be far lower.

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The Healthiest Apple You Can Eat This Fall Is This Color

By Elena Sheppard

It is officially apple season. And while an apple a day might keep the doctor away, certain types of apples are better for you than others. While comparing apples to apples might seem a bit overkill, there is somewhat of a hierarchy when it comes to apples and health.

There are over 7,500 types of apples out in the world. All of those types are low in calories and high in fibers and nutrients; AKA good for you. When it comes to which color apples are the best of the bunch, red apples take the cake. According to research done by Men’s Health, the red color is a product of “anthocyanins, a class of heart-disease-fighting polyphenols.” This information puts Red Delicious apples and Pink Lady apples at the top of the health list.

Pink Lady apples have another study in their corner. According to research done at the University of Western Australia, it was found that pink lady apples have the highest level of antioxidant flavonoids — which help repair cellular damage and decrease inflammation.

Other incredibly healthy apples include the Pendragon apple (also red), as well as organic versions of the Golden Delicious (yellow), the Collogett Pippin (red), Ben’s Red (red), Granny Smith (green), and Devonshire Quarrenden apples (red). So look for those names when you’re going apple picking or shopping.

Also, when buying apples, choose organic vs conventional apples. Organic apples carry far less toxic pesticides on them, and also are grown in a way that is much gentler on the farm and safer for the farmworkers picking your apples.

The other thing to keep in mind when it comes to apples is how nutrient-rich the peels are. The super good for you antioxidants in apples, (like quercetin, kaempferol, and myricetin) are all found in the skin. So no matter what type of apple you eat, peeling it is for the birds.

Bottom line, eat your apples! Any apples. But if you want the apple that’s the best for you, go for something red and unpeeled. And with a Pink Lady, you truly can’t go wrong.

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Hops and Barley In Your Favorite Beer? Nope, It’s High Fructose Corn Syrup

By Elena Sheppard

Many healthy eaters drink beer on the regular. And while beer isn’t terrible for you when consumed in moderation, a closer look at beer ingredients makes it clear that more often than not when we toss back a cold one we’re ingesting different ingredients than we thought; most notably high fructose corn syrup and GMOs.

Have you ever noticed that beer labels don’t include nutritional information or ingredient lists? Thanks to regulations put in place by the FDA we know pretty much exactly what goes into all of our foods for purchase. But beer and spirits are an entirely different story. We might assume that our beer is made of hops, malt, and yeast but you know what they say about assuming . . .

Many of America’s favorite beers are loaded with unhealthy ingredients like GMO corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, caramel coloring, and MSG. The reason we’re not generally aware of this information is because, as USA Today reported, there are some “fairly complicated legal designations that separate food (headed up by the FDA) from some, but not all, alcohol (which is regulated by the Department of the Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau).” For that reason, beer companies get away with keeping their ingredients hush.  

Independent consumers and health blogs have done their own research and have found which beers exactly are the ones we should be avoiding. A few beers at the top of that list include:

  • Budweiser — which contains genetically modified rice
  • Corona Extra — GMO corn syrup and propylene glycol
  • Miller Lite — GMO corn and corn syrup
  • Michelob Ultra — genetically modified sweetener
  • Coors Lite — GMO corn syrup
  • Pabst Blue Ribbon — GMO corn and GMO corn syrup

While that’s all pretty bad news, the good news is that the laws might soon change and nutrition labels on beer may be just around the corner. According to CBS News, earlier this year “Anheuser-Busch InBev, Molson Coors, Constellation Brands and Heineken, which produce more than 80 percent of the beers sold in the U.S., announced plans to begin providing consumers with more nutritional information about the beers they sell.” The hope is that by 2020 this information will be common on beer packaging.

Pulling back the curtain on what’s in the beer we drink will only be a good thing. And truthful labels, which will show the less than stellar ingredients, are likely the first step in pressuring beer manufacturers to replace unhealthy ingredients with healthier ones. There’s no reason a night cap should involve GMOs or corn syrup, especially when we’re doing all we can to live healthful lives during the day.

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This Revolutionary Patent Might Just Take Down Monsanto

By Dylan Love

To many, it has long seemed hopeless that independent farmers could stand a chance under a Monsanto monopoly. Paul Stamets is a man with a plan: A David ready to fight the Monsanto Goliath. Except Stamets isn’t throwing stones; he’s growing mushrooms.

In 2006, Stamets obtained a patent that’s being hailed as revolutionary, with claims that it could undermine Monsanto’s grip on the farming industry.

Stamets is an eminent mycologist, a person who studies fungi and its uses. “Fungi are the grand recyclers of the planet,” he says in one media report. They have the potential to regenerate ecological systems and “re-green” the planet. Before taking on pesticides, he developed mycotechnology with petroleum-eating mushrooms that clean up oil spills.

SMART pesticides, a mycotechnology he successfully patented in 2006, wouldn’t just strike a blow to Monsanto — he suggests that using mycopesticides could fuel an ecological revolution, restoring and rehabilitating polluted ecological sites. So-called “SMART” pesticides work via “sporulation,” sprouting fungi in the insects that consume them. Once the first batch of insects dies, other pests are driven away from the area.

Without pesticide control, insects can ruin crops, destroying farmers’ livelihoods and causing produce shortages. So farmers both big and small rely on chemical pesticides for success when growing food in bulk. But the costs are massive: ground water pollution, the epidemic of dying bee populations, and numerous other problems mean that there are many more difficulties than conveniences to growing food successfully. California saw over 1,000 cases of pesticide poisoning a year in the time Stamets was developing his patent.

Stamets first discovered fungi’s insect repellent potential when his own home was infested with carpenter ants. Using mushrooms with entomopathogenic (insect-killing) properties, he found a solution to his home improvement issue. Saving the environment was an added bonus.

Monsanto’s domination has expanded the use of chemical pesticides and herbicides that they produce, like Bt and Roundup. The corporation encourages farmers to spray more chemicals  as insects and weeds become resistant, to the detriment of the global environment and our collective health.

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, Monsanto’s pesticide practices “fly in the face of established science and common-sense precautions…in favor of the company’s annual bottom line.”

SMART pesticides, on the other hand, provide an eco-friendly and natural solution, eliminating use of harmful chemicals and their negative side effects.

Most importantly, the SMART pesticides could cripple Monsanto’s monopoly on seeds – a monopoly built on their foundation of seeds  genetically engineered to withstand these strong chemical herbicides and pesticides. As they spread, farmers must conform to keep their crops. Now, all that could change.

Stamets’ SMART pesticides were called “the most disruptive technology” that the industry has ever witnessed by pesticide executives themselves. His discovery has the potential to completely alter the future of food with sustainable and non-destructive growing methods.

It’s also good for business — SMART pesticides could potentially free farmers stuck under Monsanto’s thumb, paying for genetically engineered seeds and pesticides. Stamet’s patent indicates that the mycopesticide fungi can be grown at home using agricultural waste, practically for free. For small business farmers, Stamets’ SMART pesticides could be the ticket to truly sustainable, organic and independent farming. Fungi may just hold the ticket to the future of farming.

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Purple Corn Exists (And It’s Really Good For You)

By Elena Sheppard

There is a place in Minnesota where the fields are literally filled with purple corn.

It’s not a joke.

Most of us have grown up eating white and yellow corn (corn on the cob, corn salad, canned corn), but we’re here to talk about purple corn and the surprising nutritional benefits packed within its kernels. Purple corn is more than just beautiful — though images of purple corn fields spreading across Minnesota certainly confirm it’s beauty — it’s actually brimming with more protein, fiber, and antioxidants than yellow corn. Sparknotes: Purple corn is very good for us.  

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Purple corn, though probably uncommon to most people in North America, is nothing new. South Americans have been using the natural dyes in purple corn for centuries and have been eating and drinking purple corn products for just as long; perhaps most famously in the traditional Peruvian fermented drink chicha morada.

These days, purple corn is no longer specific to Latin American countries, and is indeed becoming more and more popular in the United States, in large part because of the health benefits associated with it.

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Research over the last decade or sohas cast a spotlight on just how good for us purple corn really is — many think it is well on its way to becoming a certified superfood. First and foremost, purple corn is rich in anthocyanins, flavonoids that are under the antioxidant umbrella. A study out of Ohio State University compared the effects of anthocyanins from different plants (purple grapes, purple corn, purple carrots) to see which had greater success reducing in vitro cancer growth. The anthocyanins from purple corn had the strongest effect against the cancer cells.

In addition to the anthocyanins, studies have also shown purple corn to be rich in anti-inflammatory capabilities; to potentially be able to help fight obesity; and to help cardiovascular health. Not to mention, purple corn has more protein and fiber than modern yellow corn.

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While there are many ways to enjoy purple corn — chips, breads, craft beer — Back to the Roots has a purple corn cereal that’s organic, delicious, and loaded with all of the purple corn benefits. Bring on the purple corn!

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Are Mushrooms Intelligent?

By Dylan Love

Mushrooms are fantastic little fungi with plenty of health benefits. They’re great for you, but they serve an even greater purpose in nature.

You might remember learning about mushrooms in high school biology, when you were introduced to the fungi kingdom. Mushroom bodies are made up of mycelia, which are structures composed of tiny spider web-like threads called hyphae. Think back to pictures of mold you may have seen when learning about this — up close, mycelia are simply a thick white or cream-colored network of interwoven fibers.

Mycelia are also the real stars of this story. According to fungi expert Paul Stamets, mycelia are highly intelligent structures. That’s right: intelligent.

They spread out and respawn, forming massive networks. Mycelia are made up of rigid cell walls, which allow them to move through soil and tough environments. They’re capable of breaking down structures in nature and holding up to 30 times their mass. Mycelia also extend the area in which the fungi they’re attached to can find water and nutrients. In fact, Stamets refers to mycelia as “extended stomachs, lungs, and neurological membranes.”

Most importantly, mycelia can attach themselves to the roots of plants, forming a symbiotic relationship with them. Fungi of this nature are known as mycorrhizal fungi (in a mycorrhizal relationship).

By attaching their mycelia to existing plant root systems, mycorrhizal fungi have created a massive underground neural network that plants and fungi use to communicate. Research shows that mycorrhizal fungi are compatible with about 90 percent of land plants.

So what does it mean for these structures to be connected?

According to Stamets, it literally means that “Earth’s natural internet” exists right beneath our feet. Think of this plant-fungi neural network in terms of how our human-created internet works.

Mycelia in fungi are capable of collecting intelligence and transmitting it to their corresponding plants and neighbors — whatever they’re connected to, really. This intelligence includes information about how to survive and fight disease, warnings about nearby dangers, and guidance in raising a host plant’s defenses. Mycelium also act as a kind of “mother” that allows the transfer of nutrients among interconnected plants.

A single cubic inch of soil can contain up to eight miles of mycelium cells. Quite literally, that’s a lot of ground to be covered, and a lot of intelligence to be shared.

Mycelia essentially extend a plant’s root system because the long, thread-like structures are particularly good at reaching out and capturing moisture and nutrients from soil. There’s plenty of surface area to collect nutrients from, which mycorrhizal fungi then share with the roots of the host plant, who in turn, share them with surrounding plants. Younger seedlings are able to get carbon from older donor trees — they literally help each other survive.

Remember the relationship between plants and fungi is a symbiotic one, so the fungus gets a little something out of it, too. In return for nutrients, plants provide fungi with photosynthesized nutrients (mostly sugars and carbohydrates) so they survive and thrive and the relationship can continue.

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This Statistic About What Defines “Whole Grain” Will Stun You

By Elena Sheppard

You’re probably not eating what you think you’re eating.

Here’s a wild statistic: The FDA defines whole grain “as food that contains 51 percent or more whole grain ingredient(s).” And even that 51% can be “reconstituted” — meaning it’s made up of pieces of wheat kernels from various farms being blended together – definitely not a whole grain.

The Western diet is packed with grains. While many of the grains we eat are refined, research proves that whole grains are really what we should be consuming. Unfortunately finding purely whole grain products is more difficult than one might assume. With the FDA statistic in mind, the best way to know the food you’re buying is whole grain, is to look for labels that say, “100% stoneground whole grain” or “100% stoneground wheat” or “100% stoneground whole wheat.”

That said, understanding why making the switch to whole grains is important requires a look at what exactly refined grains really are.

What are refined grains?

Grains, (refined grains,) are a pretty traditional staple of the American breakfast. Refined grains are in our morning toast, our cereal and oatmeal, in addition to rice, pasta and foods we usually indulge in during non-breakfast moments of the day. While grains, generally speaking, are good for us and loaded with complex carbohydrates, making the switch to whole grains is important if we want to be getting  all the nutrients we can and enjoying the most delicious flavors.

Refined grains are grains that have been milled, which is a process that removes their bran and germ and simultaneously lengthens their shelf life. Unfortunately, the milling process also rids the grains of many nutrients — including protein, fiber, and many other micronutrients.

When it comes to breakfast foods the switch from refined grains to whole grains is pretty easy to do. Swap your white toast for whole-grain bread, your regular cereal for 100% stone ground cereal, or your normal old pancakes to whole-grain buckwheat pancakes. The health benefits are hard to ignore.

Why are whole grains better for us?

The main reason: they’re loaded with more nutrients. In addition to having more fiber, whole wheat also has more magnesium, potassium, and selenium (which has antioxidant properties). More reasons why whole grains are good for you?

  • They’re digested slowly, which means they help regulate insulin and blood sugar levels.
  • They help prevent against Type 2 Diabetes.
  • They lower cholesterol levels
  • Whole grains also help prevent heart disease.
  • And they reduce risks of stroke, cancer, in addition to reducing blood pressure.

Of course, eating whole grains alone is not enough to turn an unhealthy diet into a healthy one. The truth is though, it’s all about making healthy choices. And making a choice as simple as switching your refined grains to whole grains is a pretty painless way to look after your health. Who wouldn’t want to start every morning by taking their health into their own hands?

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Here Are the Surprising Diets NFL Stars Swear By

By Dylan Love

Football season is upon us, and your favorite athletes have been prepping in ways beyond their intense physical training. They’ve been eating and eating and eating.

NFL diets used to be pretty casual to say the least. It was common for players to consume between 7,000-8,000 calories a day without a care as to what they were putting in their bodies. Supersized portions of “heavy” foods like grits, eggs, burgers, macaroni and cheese, steak, and fries were all fair game for players trying to maintain a competitive weight.

But according to Dr. Susan M. Kleiner, a nutrition consultant for the Seattle Seahawks and former full-time nutritionist for the Cleveland Browns, things have changed since she first started working with NFL teams in the early ‘90s.

Back then, she explains, the goal was just to gain weight by eating as many calories as possible. Then coaches and players started focusing more on body composition and healthy diets in order to reduce risk of heart disease and injury. This plan was ultimately better for the players’ health and well-being.

We see this mindset taking full form in the NFL today. Meal plans are individualized, based on each player’s’ position, size, and metabolism. Instead of consuming calories full of fats and starches to help gain weight, there’s an emphasis on consuming lean meats and vegetables to build strong muscle.

We did some investigating on how “eating clean” has taken shape in the NFL today, especially in some of your favorite players’ diets.

Rashad Jennings – New York Giants

First up is Rashad Jennings, a running back for the NYG and nutrition all-star. Over the years, Jennings has made a conscious effort to not only eliminate junk food from his diet, but also stop counting calories and focus on being “fuel-efficient.” This means he actively chooses foods that fuel him, rather than foods that require him to unnecessarily use up energy to break them down.

He eats between 3-4 full meals a day, but still enjoys snacking like any normal human. Jennings describes himself as a “whole food eater,” choosing snacks that function as “mini meals” in order to keep him going between full meals. Instead of a bag of chips, he goes for fruit, turkey meatballs, or hummus on toast with avocado and turkey bacon, which ensures that he gets plenty of fiber, protein, and necessary healthy fats.

Steve Weatherford – New York Giants

Here’s another Giants player who shines in the world of nutrition, though he might be lesser-known. Steve Weatherford is a punter, but he’s also said to be the Giants’ strongest player. With just 5.5 percent body fat and the ability to bench press almost 400 pounds, he’s absolutely ripped.

Protein is key to Weatherford’s diet. He eats about 200 grams of protein a day by consuming egg whites, bunless turkey burgers, lean ground beef lasagna, and of course, whey protein. For whatever it’s worth, the FDA’s daily recommendation is 50 grams for a 2,000-calorie diet.

David Carter – Chicago Bears

Carter is a defensive lineman, which means he’s regularly weighed — it’s a position where 250 pounds makes you look puny. But Carter is a whopping 300 pounds and he’s maintaining that weight with a vegan diet.

It started in 2014 when he was struggling to gain weight by eating unhealthy foods, as well as battling tendonitis and several other injuries. But within a month of going vegan, he was running better, lifting heavier, and starting to relieve the pain in his joints.

He eventually made it back up to 300 pounds, but that required lots and lots of eating on his part. Carter was consuming as much as 10,000 calories a day on his vegan diet. Specifically, he was eating five meals a day with four 20-ounce protein shakes between them. His total protein intake is 1.2 grams of protein per pound per day, which typically comes from brown rice and black or cannellini beans.

Matt Kalil – Minnesota Vikings

Kalil is an offensive tackle, so he’s in another position that requires a lot of weight maintenance. His target weight is 315 pounds, so he’s eating anywhere between 5,000-7,000 calories per day, and taking care to ensure he’s building up muscle, and not just fat.

This means Kalil is consuming three meals a day, consisting of lean meat, pasta, and sweet potatoes. Like most of his fellow NFL players, he tries to eat snacks between meals (typically peanut butter and jelly sandwiches). But his prime weight-gain comes from three high-calorie shakes per day, with 60 grams of protein in each.

Tom Brady – New England Patriots

According to Dr. Kleiner, quarterbacks like Tom Brady need a minimum of 4,000 calories a day, but up to 6,000 calories per day depending on training. That being said, Brady’s diet is pretty bizarre in comparison to his NFL counterparts.

It’s incredibly strict. His personal chef notes that Brady cannot have white sugar or flour, caffeine, dairy, coffee, and certain fruits. His chef has also restricted some veggies from his diet, including mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes and eggplants. Brady has also shared that he doesn’t cook with olive oil.

So what can he eat? Apparently, mostly vegetables (in fact, they make up 80 percent of his diet), but also: Whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, and beans, plus meats like grass-fed organic steak, duck, chicken, and wild salmon.

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Of course, these guys are professional athletes whose dietary needs are quite outside the norm. Until you need to pack on another 100-150 pounds of muscle yourself, it’s best to look at the NFL roster’s eating habits as a fun, informative oddity.

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10 Corporations Control Almost All the World’s Food

By Dylan Love

Almost everything you eat comes from the same collection of 10 food companies.

Let that sink in.

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This image — found on the social media site Reddit — shows just how far the big food companies tentacles stretch. Just ten food companies combine to produce a massive amount of the food and drink we all consume. For some consumers, these 10 companies reflect nearly the vast majority of daily calories consumed. The extent of big food’s corporate centralization is staggering, especially when you consider the essential staples. The industry’s vertical and horizontal integration has led to corporate control of an incredible array of food products. Nestlé, for example – best known for its chocolate –  also makes baby food. Soda company PepsiCo owns KFC. Cereal brand General Mills owns yogurt Yoplait.

Here’s a breakdown of the five biggest food producers:

 

Nestlé SA

Market Capitalization: $152.87 billion

Revenue: $90.3 billion

Profits: $9.1 billion

Employees: 335,000

Headquarters: Vevey, Switzerland

Originally a milk and baby food provider, Nestlé has broadened its operations to include a variety of popular food products. While Nestle has received high marks from Oxfam International for its commitments to socially responsible operations, it is still criticized for being complicit in grabbing land to muscle out small farmers.

 

PepsiCo Inc.

Market Capitalization: $179.35 billion

Revenue: $63.06 billion

Profits: $34.67 billion

Employees: 263,00

Headquarters: Purchase, New York

Longtime Coke competitor, Pepsi has surpassed its rival becoming the world’s second largest food and drink vendor. Indian-American CEO Indra Nooyi has earned praise for her leadership and vision of reform for the company.

 

The Coca-Cola Company

Market Capitalization: $179.35 billion

Revenue: $44.29 billion

Profits: $26.81 billion

Employees: 700,000

Headquarters: Atlanta, Georgia

From a 19th-century soda drink, the Coca-Cola Company has evolved into a multinational beverage goliath. Its savvy advertising cemented the company as a global icon. Outside of its definitive brown drink, Coke also owns Fanta, Dasani, Minute Maid, Fresca, Simply Orange, and a variety of other drink brands.

 

General Mills

Market Capitalization: $36.8 billion

Revenue: $16.56 billion

Profits: $5.85 billion

Employees: 39,000

Headquarters: Golden Valley, Minnesota

A definitive multinational food business, General Mills’ products are completely ubiquitous: Betty Crocker, Yoplait, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Haagen-Dazs, and Cheerios are all offshoots of the General Mills machine, just to name a few. The company has garnered its share of criticism for deceptive advertising on the health benefits of its cereals.

 

Mars

Market Capitalization: unknown

Revenue: $33 billion

Profits: unknown

Employees: unknown

Headquarters: McLean, Virginia

As a family-owned private company, Mars provides little financial information about itself. The producer of iconic snacks like M&Ms, Skittles, Snickers, and Twix has made commitments to drop partnerships with suppliers of palm oil and cocoa that violate human rights, deforest sensitive land, and contribute to climate change. Because of its lackluster history in these areas, time will tell.

 

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It’s easy to feel like corporate tentacles have too closely wrapped themselves around our food supply. If you’re anxious knowing that money spent on food ultimately goes to just a handful of these companies, you can vote every day with your dollar. Buy more fresh produce and cook at home more often. And visit farmers markets and local food co-ops. The good news is though these 10 companies control most of what we eat, there are thousands of artisan and smaller producers and a burgeoning new food movement bringing new values and transparency into the food system.

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The Wait Is Over: Mouth-Watering Vegan Mac ‘N’ Cheese

Who says vegans can’t enjoy an ooey gooey American classic? Not us! We dare vegans and non-vegans alike to resist this creamy, non-dairy mac ‘n’ cheese, sprinkled with CA Whole Wheat cereal for an added crunch and toasty, golden finish!


PRO TIP: Carry your stoneground crumble over to a side dish of Avocado Fries!

Cook time: 20 minutesthumb_IMG_5375_1024_edited-1

Serves: 4-5 people

Ingredients:

  • 10 ounces whole wheat elbow pasta
  • 3 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 8 ounces vegan cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup CA Whole Wheat cereal
  • 4-6 fresh basil leaves
  • 3 tbsp vegan parmesan cheese

Directions:thumb_IMG_5391_1024_edited-1

1. Cook elbow pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, add vegan butter. Once butter has melted, add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add flour and whisk for 2 minutes. Add almond milk and whisk for 30 seconds. Add in vegan cheddar cheese and whisk until all the cheese has melted—this may take up to 5-8 minutes. Just keep stirring and it’ll come together!

3. In a blender, add CA Whole Wheat cereal and basil. Pulse 9-1o times. Set aside.

4. Add pasta and cheese sauce into a 8×8 pan. Mix well. Sprinkle cereal crumbs and vegan parmesan on top of the mac and cheese. Broil 1-2  minutes or until the top is golden brown.

5. Garnish with additional shredded basil and serve while hot. Enjoy!thumb_IMG_5406_1024_edited-1

 

 

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Stuffed Stoneground Cinnamon French Toast — Your Cravings Fulfilled

Try this riff on a classic french toast stuffed with chocolate and fresh fruit! The toasted cinnamon cereal adds a cinnamon-y crunch that goes perfectly with the decadent chocolatey filling. Get creative with your filling and add your favorite fruit and/or spread!

Cook time: 30 minutes
Makes: 6 french toasts (2-3 servings) 

Ingredients:IMG_4561

  • 3/4 cups cinnamon cereal, crushed
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp organic can sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • Challah bread
  • 2-3 strawberries, thinly sliced
  • Dark chocolate bar, broken into small pieces
  • 1 tsp butter

Directions:

1. In a small bowl, whisk together crushed cereal, brown sugar, cane sugar, and cinnamon.

2. In a separate small bowl, whisk together egg, milk, and vanilla extract.

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3. Cut 2 inch thick slices of challah bread. Take a knife and slice a pocket into the slice of bread. Stuff the pocket with strawberries and chocolate.

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4. Heat a small skillet on medium-high. Dip the stuffed challah bread into the egg mixture and then coat the toast in the crushed cereal mixture. Add butter to the hot skillet and let it melt. Then add dipped and coated bread to the skillet. Cook until browned on the bottom and then flip and cook another 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.

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5. Serve warm with fresh fruit, maple syrup, or powdered sugar on top.

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Guilt-Free Avocado Fries — A Crunchy Creamy Twist

These baked avocado fries offer a healthy and delicious alternative to the average, greasy french fry. Crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside—these fries make for a perfectly balanced snack or side to any dish!

Cook time: Stone
Makes: 2-3 servings

Ingredients:2016 07 14_0038_edited-1

Avocado Fries:
  • 2 avocados, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 3/4 cup CA Whole Wheat cereal
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 egg, whisked
Basil Garlic Aioli:
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup olive oil

Directions:

Avocado Fries:

1. Pre-heat oven to 450 F. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.

2. Blend CA Whole Wheat cereal until you have a fine crumb. Pour into a bowl and mix with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.

3. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with a pinch of salt.

4. Dip avocado slices in the whisked egg, making sure to coat the entire slice. Then coat the avocado slice with the cereal mixture and place on the foil-lined baking sheet. Repeat with all the avocado slices.

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5. Bake for 12 minutes or until the outside is nice and brown. Serve with basil garlic aioli. Enjoy!

Basil Garlic Aioli:

1. Add basil, garlic, egg yolks, salt, and lemon juice to a food processor and blend. Drizzle in the olive oil slowly while it is blending. Blend for 1 minute after all the oil has been added. Spoon into a bowl and serve. Enjoy!

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